ELO Cellist Hugh McDowell Dies at 65

Hugh McDowell
Fin Costello/Redferns

Cellist Hugh McDowell from Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) performs live on stage during the band's American tour as support for Deep Purple in November 1974. 

Former ELO and Wizzard cellist Hugh McDowell has died at age 65 following a battle with cancer. 

McDowell joined Jeff Lynne’s band in 1972 when he was only 19 years old. One year later, he made his recording debut on the group's sophomore album, ELO 2. He left the band to join Roy Wood in Wizzard, but returned to ELO until 1980. He's credited on albums Eldorado, Face the MusicA New World Record and 1977’s double-LP, Out of the Blue.

Until his death McDowell played with various groups and classical music ensembles, and was featured as a guest on recordings by Mel Gale, Asia and Geoff Downes among others. He also did film and theatre arrangements for various artists and worked with computer programming. He created the music composition program, Fractal Music Composer, in 1992.


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